Happy New Year! Thank you for joining us for this special New Year's episode of The People and Projects Podcast!
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How many times have you set a new years resolution only to have it hit head-on into the wall of reality of daily living? My experience? New Year's resolutions often don't last the day, much less the end of January!
There are all kinds of resolutions you might consider, personally and professionally. On a professional level, for project managers that have not yet gotten certified, why not make this the year that you get that done? It's so easy to put it off. For others, there might be some habits you want to improve such as getting more sleep or going out on a date with a loved one more often.
There are countless ideas for resolutions but how do you make them stick? Well, on this special New Year's episode of The People and Projects Podcast, you'll hear from Jordan Goldberg, CEO of Stickk.com. Make sure to check their service out!
Here's to this being your best year ever! Happy New Year!
I have the real privilege of helping organizations around the world improve their ability to deliver projects and lead teams. In 2008 we added a PMP®Exam Prep offering to our mix to help project managers who want to get their Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.
I have to say this while I can because it's only a matter of time before I won't be able to! So far, every one of our students who have attended our workshops and taken the PMP®certification exam have passed! Now obviously I can't take too much credit for this track record because anyone who wants to pass the PMP®exam must have a fair amount of experience to even apply. In addition, there's plenty of study required. That said, it's totally passable and we can help you.
If you are a project manager and haven't yet pursued certification, I strongly recommend you consider making it a goal for the coming year. Click here to learn more about PMP®certification.
Now of course PMP®certification is an obvious option, but did you know there are other well respected, if not as well known, project management certifications? In this cast you'll hear from Bill Duncan. If Bill's name isn't familiar, his work will be to many of you. Bill was the primary author of the original PMBOK® Guide and shares some helpful insights on certification and delivering successful projects.
To learn more about the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management and the certification Bill talks about in this cast, check out http://www.asapm.org/blog.
Would you like to help your organization improve its ability to deliver projects more reliably? Our project management series of workshops take well established project management practices and use proven adult learning methods to help you put them into action. Whether you're looking for certification for a selected group of PM's or helping your entire organization improve their project management competencies, our workshops and coaching can help you make a real improvement in the coming year.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! For my Jewish friends I trust you had a very Happy Hanukkah! And for my listeners celebrating Christmas this week, I wish you and those you love a very Merry Christmas! Have a great start to your New Year!
"PMI and PMP" are trademarks, service marks or certification marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc., which is registered in the United States and other nations. Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version) Less Bass by John Stebbe. Used under Creative Commons License Attribution-No Derivative Works 1.0 Generic
NOTE: This interview was revised on 4/30/2012 at the request of Mr. Duncan.
I was discussing how fast time flies by with my friend and colleague Kymme Lightfoot who is a consultant with McGhee Productivity Solutions. McGhee specializes in helping organizations with these very challenges and she hooked me up with partner John Witty. John is the author of Take Back Your Life! (Microsoft Press) and if you are looking for perspective to get a better handle on the demands of work and life, this episode's interview is especially designed for you.
Thanksgiving is, indeed, one of my favorite holidays. Though celebrated this week in the States, many other countries have a similar holiday with essentially the same purpose: give us a chance to reflect on what we're thankful for.
The People and Projects Podcast is all about helping you to deliver projects and lead teams. So, it's worth asking: how important is being thankful to helping you lead and deliver?
It's critical. In fact, let's test that out for a second....
Think back through bosses you've worked for in the past. Or consider teachers you've had over the years, and perhaps even your parents. Out of that list, who jumps out as someone who was stingy, so to speak, with their gratitude towards you? Whether in word or action, they just didn't dish out appreciation very often.
Can you think of someone? Many people can. What consequences come to mind that resulted from that lack of gratitude?
Some two years ago I was talking with a CEO about how I like to send Thank You cards to people. He actively tried to convince me that such expressions of gratitude--especially in writing--were a waste of time, much like "holding hands and singing." He said, "People don't need a boss telling them 'Thank You'. Rather, results speak for themselves."
Wow. I can only imagine what he's like to work for!
Go back to your list. Get that ogre out of your mind and replace them with someone who did a great job of making you feel appreciated. Once again, whether in word or deed or both, they oozed with gratitude.
What difference did they make?
In my experience, those leaders are able to accomplish so much more. Their teams are more engaged. They can be more innovative because they are working less out of fear and more out of self-motivation. Expressing gratitude and recognizing others for the work they do is a clear mandate for anyone who desires to deliver projects and lead teams.
Maybe it's the economy... Maybe it's the growing discontent among many that our political leaders are out of touch. There's no shortage of things to be upset about.
So here's what I've found. Being thankful is a choice. It's something we need to proactively pursue to avoid being sucked into the whirlpool of negativity and entitlement that surrounds us.
In recent years my company has sponsored a gratitude project called the World of Thanks initiative. Each year people from around the world write in to answer a very simple question: "What are you thankful for?"
Though the answers vary widely, I always get great feedback from people about how they find it refreshing to take a moment to participate in the project as well as read the results from young and old alike.
As many of you know, this year we opened it up for people to call in with their message so we could include their thoughts in this podcast. For all that called in or just replied to the invitations with messages on LinkedIn, Facebook, or e-mail, thank you for participating.
And now, it is my pleasure to share with you the voices of your fellow podcast listeners as they answer the question, "What are you thankful for?"
OK, here's the situation.... You're the security guard at a data center, giving a new security guard a tour of the facility. Near the end of the tour you point to a button on the wall. The button is labeled "Do Not Push". While looking back at the new guard you remark, "See this button? Make sure you never pu...."
Oops. You accidentally push the button.
What happens? I'll tell you what happens. Lights out. Systems go dead—immediately. No nice shutdown. You turn pale—you know this isn't good.
There's more to the story. The systems people can't get the servers restarted right away. When they do, there are problems with the network. Your company is unable to process transactions.... not for 1 hour. Not for 2 hours. It's not until 15 hours later that transactions are flowing through the system.
Sound scary? This isn't a made up story. It actually happened. Thankfully, you're not in it. But let's say you were... When you get called into the bosses' office, what do you expect them to say?
What are the odds you'd hear them say, "Kelly, get in here. I want to thank you for helping us see how incomplete our disaster recovery plans were. If it wasn't for you, we would have gone on, maybe for years, falsely thinking we had everything buttoned up. You also helped us learn that our shutdown button is too accessible. We'll put together plans to fix that. Kelly, from all of us in senior management, thank you very much!"
Not likely? You're right. In fact, in the real world version of this story, the accidental button-pushing security guard got fired. Enough money was lost that management decided "Someone must die! We need flesh!"
Was this the best way to respond? Though normal, does it fix the problem by firing the guard? My guess is the new guy never pressed the button! But did it really fix things? Or did it just assign blame.
When things go wrong--even in a big way--what's a leader to do? Can we really celebrate failure without creating a culture of complacence? Could the way we react--such as firing someone in the name of accountability--actually create additional dysfunction?
These are issues that Ralph wrestles with in his book. I look forward to your feedback on the interview with Ralph in this episode. Have a great week!